Articles from North Dakota
A moratorium on wind-related projects in Mercer County has blocked the construction of a wind farm, making Mercer the second county in central North Dakota to enact anti-wind ordinances. BISMARCK — Ongoing tensions over the construction of a new wind farm in North Dakota coal country have come to a head with Mercer County, N.D., imposing a moratorium on all wind-related projects.
he North Dakota Public Service Commission has fined Xcel Energy $10,000 for failing to meet the deadline for complying with the state’s new law requiring light-mitigating technology atop wind turbines. The system at the new Foxtail wind farm in Dickey County became fully operational April 7, missing the state’s Dec. 31 deadline by several months.
“I continue to believe America is over-saturating our electric grid with intermittent energy at the expense of baseload energy,” said Commissioner Randy Christmann. “But this is a siting case that must be decided based on the law in North Dakota’s Siting Act, as written by the Legislature, and this project meets the requirements of the Siting Act.”
The latest penalty of $5,000 comes after operators of the Emmons-Logan wind farm in Emmons and Logan counties failed to install and start operating the technology by Dec. 31, 2019. It took until Feb. 11 for the site to come into compliance.
LM has about 880 employees who work in shifts of about 100 to 150 people, Weiser said. Many of the workers are immigrants or former refugees from African countries, officials from the state's resettlement agency said Thursday. LM spokesman Tim Brown said the plant will remain closed indefinitely.
“Although greatly improved, not all the project’s potential impacts could be avoided,” Link continued, adding that the majority of the project area is still within the Northern Missouri Coteau where there is “a higher degree of displacement risk associated with the development in this landscape area, as compared to other areas within the state” because migratory birds like to stop there.
MINOT, N.D. — On three recent occasions, our regional power grid nearly ran out of power.
Otter Tail Power’s North Dakota residential customers will see an extra charge on their monthly bills next month. For an average customer, it will be $4.01. The reason: It was the method approved by the North Dakota Public Service Commission to take into account the Production Tax Credit for the Merricourt Wind Farm,
State regulators rejected a permit Wednesday for a proposed wind farm in Ward and McLean counties that faced difficulties complying with a 2017 state law requiring new technology to stop turbine-topping lights from blinking bright red all night. The Public Service Commission, in a 1-2 vote, failed to approve Southern Power’s Ruso Wind project, though commissioners left open the option of reconsidering it down the road.
The law passed by the North Dakota Legislature does not allow the PSC to give these wind operators extra time to get the new systems put in. Fedorchak said the PSC is sending letters to the six wind farms – telling them they have to comply with the law. She said the companies have been a part of the discussions, and none of them had expressed any concerns with them deadline date.
The wind energy companies argue that the construction is being driven by the markets and demand. A more likely explanation is that there was a rush to build these projects in order to capitalize on a subsidy which was set to expire last year. Wind companies had to break ground on their projects before the end of the year to get in on it. I call it a bubble because that's what inevitably happens when the government creates artificial demand for something with a subsidy. We should build wind farms because they make sense for our energy grid, not to harvest tax dollars.
The owners of a wind farm near Valley City want to re-power the existing farm, by installing larger turbines and bigger blades. But the North Dakota Public Service Commission isn’t yet ready to give it the go-ahead.
Getting proposed wind farms spinning in North Dakota isn’t as easy as in the past, and it’s likely to get more difficult. There are growing concerns about the projects, ranging from the impact on the viewshed to the noise created by the turbines.
Helicopters fly hundreds of missions each year related to the operation of intercontinental ballistic missiles buried in North Dakota. Blair wrote that one of the Air Force’s concerns is that the lights could notify opposition forces of the location of a helicopter flying at night. “This would severely degrade our capability and jeopardize mission accomplishment,” he said.
The military wants North Dakota and four other states with nuclear missile arsenals to consider introducing new rules aimed at preventing conflicts between wind turbines and helicopters that provide security at launch facilities.
Notably, a wind farm project to be located in southern Burleigh County was shelved because of local opposition. And that’s led some to conclude there is “wind fatigue.”Allete Clean Energy of Duluth is a major player in the development of wind farms. "I think there is infrastructure fatigue, broadly," said Allete president Al Ruedick. "We've seen the same in the oil patch, in terms of pipeline, trucks and traffic."
Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak, a Republican, said she has cautioned developers that North Dakota isn’t anti-wind, but she said regulators are serious about following the siting law. The three-member PSC rejected NextEra Energy Resources' plans for a wind farm in Burke County in June in part because it would have affected wetlands, which their rules protect from energy development.
BISMARCK — Division over a once-proposed wind farm has led some township residents in Burleigh County to petition the recall of township officers, in what might be the first such recall in North Dakota.
MINOT, N.D. – The company behind a proposed wind energy project in North Dakota struck down by state regulators earlier this year says it intends to submit a new project application in the fall.
A company that planned to revive a large wind farm in northwest North Dakota is pulling back for now. ...NextEra acquired the former Hartland project and had conducted wind monitoring in and near the gooseneck of Ward County as well as in Mountrail and Renville counties. The company also had initiated lease opportunities with landowners.